Starting this week, I’m beginning a series called “Towns I saw on the weather map in college but never visited.” The first town is Shelbina, sitting on US Highway 36 in Shelby County. Its location on rail lines and the now divided four lane highway has made it a much more bustling town than the county seat, Shelbyille, which we’ll look at tomorrow. But my, oh my, there are some beautiful houses in Shelbina, starting with Vesper House, the Italianate masterpiece that was the home of John Forbes Benjamin.
There are some other fantastic Queen Anne Style houses in town, as well.
And a nice little Second Empire house; that house (and the two below it) and all of the ones above were located on the edge of town, in what was obviously the wealthy part of town.
I found houses in various stages of disrepair; in particular, I do not understand why so many had marking on them in neon paint like you would see after a natural disaster. I scanned newspaper articles, but could not find anything.
This masterpiece below is vacant–which is a shame as it is one of the coolest houses I have seen out in the countryside of Missouri.
And below, more bombed out houses. I wonder what the long term prospect of this town is; will it bounce back from the abandonment? They lost that beautiful building downtown a couple of years ago to fire.
The rest of this series will be towns and county seats off of the major highways that I visited while I stopped by Kirksville, to visit my alma mater, Truman State University. It was eye opening, and showed a side of America that is being forgotten.